Thursday, November 29, 2007

Delmon Young is a Twin. Holy crap!

The Twins sent Matt Garza packing and in exchange for him, they received a player who could very well be the face of the franchise for years to come.

Delmon Young is a stud. He’s a great player. The Twins don’t get players in trades like this. Never. Young will easily replace Torii Hunter’s offense and will strike fear in the heart of every umpire who dares to call a chest high fastball strike three.

Sure, Young was suspended for 50 games last year – he threw a bat at an umpire. You know what I say to that? It was just a lapse in judgment. He’s going to be fine – Twins fans will LOVE him. I promise.

This was a fantastic first move of the off-season for the Twins. Billy Smith gets an A+ so far. The only downside to this deal is that the Twins weren’t able to unload Juan Rincon’s fat contract and fragile elbow. They had to give up Jason Bartlett (who cares) but they also lost Eduardo Morlan. At some point very soon, Morlan is going to be a top-notch set-up guy or closer. He can hit 100 mph on the gun and seems to have sick stuff. The Twins didn’t want to deal him and would have rather given up Rincon. But, you just got Delmon Young, so we deal with it.

Plus, the Twins are getting Jason Pridie back, whom they love, but had to cut last spring and they also get journeyman SS Brendan Harris. Harris might end up starting at shortstop if the Twins can’t coax the Yankees to give up Robinson Cano as part of a Johan Santana deal. If the Twins do get Cano, you will see Alexi Casilla and the light-hitting Nicky Punto at short next year. We will take that if Cano is manning the right side of the infield. If not, then the Twins needs to fix the shortstop position as well.

But again – we got Delmon Young…so it’s all gravy at this point.

Young and Garza are the prizes in this deal and it is great to see the Twins finally giving up a little bit of pitching in order to get a big bat in return.

Crowd loving it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Observations from a long football weekend.

The Monday after a four-day weekend is always tough. There is a lot about which to talk, so let’s ramble.

Isn’t it funny that Frank Caliendo is supposed to look like John Madden in that picture, but he actually looks exactly like Ted Kennedy?

His sketch comedy show, by the way, was a lot of sketch and not much comedy. He’s amazing at impressions, but for whatever reason it doesn’t seem to work over the course of a half hour sketch show.

He has three more shows to get it right – and that’s it for the year. The writer’s strike is shutting down Frank TV after only four shows. No doubt TBS will still air all four shows every day of the week in between the same 10 episodes of “King of Queens” and the same 6 episodes of “Yes Dear.”

Speaking of impersonations, Eli Manning did a spot-on Joey Harrington yesterday, didn’t he?

I actually liked the Vikings chances against the Giants. It’s the kind of game they had no business winning, but for whatever reason they always seem to play well in that kind of situation. Everyone needs to stop talking about the playoffs; this is still the same team who got destroyed three weeks ago in Green Bay 34-0. The only thing the Vikings did yesterday was make their draft position weaker.

However, I was impressed with Brad Childress yesterday. It was the first time this year he didn’t call a timeout in order to challenge a play that wasn’t challengeable. He’s really improving as a coach.

I am pretty excited about having the NFL Network. The Packers play the Cowboys on Thursday night and it should be a pretty good game. The only downside has to be listening to Bryant Gumbel doing play-by-play. He’s terrible. I would rather listen to Greg Gumbel take a dump than Brant Gumble call a sporting event.

I was really enjoying the “Brett Favre is washed up” era – what happened to that anyway?

The best part about Thanksgiving Day? Stuffing. The worst part about the Sunday after Thanksgiving? Stuffing.

Do you think the Vikings defense is going to tell Eli Manning he can have a “safe word” the next time they play?

I don’t mind watching Sunday Night Football in America and I don’t mind Faith Hill. But, I don’t like when those two things are combined.
Speaking of SNF – whenever Andrea Kramer appears on our TV, the gal calls her a “poor man’s Edie Falco” and it makes me laugh every time.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Hot Stove Action

Torii Hunter is an Angel and we are okay with that. Even though the Twins only offered him a 3-year deal for $45 million, they wouldn’t have been able to keep him had they offered 5 years.

And, they were smart to not offer 5 years because the Torii Hunter you saw last year won’t be the Torii Hunter you see in four years. He’ll never hit that many homeruns again and he won’t play defense at a high level three years from now. Thanks for the memories and let’s move on.

I ran into this stat comparison while searching around looking for some Twins rumors. Scott Baker, Johan Santana and Matt Garza are all attracting interest in chat rooms and there are several teams who would like any of the three pitchers on the front end of their respective rotations.

Here’s an interesting look at what Scott Baker did compared to Curt Schilling last year. Now you know why Baker is gathering interest. The latest rumor is a deal with Boston that would send Coco Crisp and another player to the Twins in exchange for Baker. After seeing this table, I am not so sure I would take that deal:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Golden Gophers can win on the road!

The Gopher’s basketball team won a road game last night against a real Division 1 opponent. I can’t remember the last time I wrote those words.

Tubby and his squad went into Ames, Iowa last night and took apart an Iowa State team that actually has a decent chance to play in the postseason.

Lawrence McKenzie led the way for the Gophers with 15 second half points and 20 for the game. He doesn’t seem to miss Dan Monson much at all.

One side note -- has anyone figured out the Big Ten Network yet? Now that the gal has sworn off the overpriced and shittastic customer service of Charter cable TV forever, we made the switch to DirectTV. So far so good –we get the NFL Network, Big Ten Network, and all systems are a go.

But, I can’t for the life of me figure out how/why the Big Ten Network schedules games the way they do. Shouldn’t they still have regional programming so we can watch the games in our market? Iowa State and Minnesota can’t get any more in my market and I still didn’t get to see the game. Not good times.

The only downside to DirectTV is no more Minneapolis/St Paul news at 5:00, 6:00 or 10:00 p.m. If you’ve seen local TV newscasts in any other Minnesota market, you know how miserable I am right now. But, having the NFL Network and at some point having the Gopher games on the BTN will be worth it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Chester gets a chance.

Chester Taylor ran for 164 yards yesterday, but it seemed like he should have and could have had more.

The Vikings won the game, but it didn’t really seem like a win. The team left a lot of points (and yards) on the field and they turned the ball over five times. Plus, the Raiders had a chance to come back and tie it with less than a minute left and probably would have if anybody other than Daunte Culpepper had been under center.

The Vikes travel to New York next week to take on the Giants. After getting blown out and shut out on the road last week at Green Bay, I can’t imagine how bad things are going to get at the Meadowlands.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Twins should sign Fukudome.

Kosuke Fukudome is a free agent outfielder from Japan and the Twins have no chance to sign him.

However, we think it would be cool if he played for the Twins, because well…Fukudome is a pretty cool name and since the Twins are getting a new stadium, Fukudome is what all Twins fans will be saying in 2010.

Here’s a list of the Top 50 free agents available in the big leagues this off-season, at least according to some random “insider” from ESPN. Fukudome is number 10. Somehow Kyle Lohse is number 11, Torii Hunter is number 12, and Carlos Silva is number 13. Who did these rankings, Sid Hartman?

The Twins won’t be signing any of those guys – unfortunately Fukudome included.

Not to say the sky is falling, but the sky might be falling.

Today is the start of MLB free agent signing – and the Twins figure to be in the news a lot over the next few weeks. The team started things off today by trading for aging veteran outfielder Craig Monroe.

Twins fans everywhere are going to be justified in asking the question:

“Is the entire Twins front office doing meth?”

Yes, the sky is falling in Twins Territory people. Torii Hunter is going to sign someplace else, probably with the White Sox. Nick Punto is going to be the full-time second baseman and Johan Santana is going to get traded.

Of course rather than trade for Miguel Cabrera or sign Mike Lowell, the Twins answer to all of this negativity is to trade for the 30-year-old Monroe, who hit just over .200 last season with the Tigers and Cubs.

I agree with this move if you want to have him as a fourth outfielder. But do you really want to pay a guy $4 million a year to hit .200 and sit on the bench every other day? Lew Ford would have done that for the league minimum.

And about Santana -- the Twins MUST trade him now. They should trade him today if they can, but no later than mid-December. It’s obvious to everyone that they aren’t going to be able to re-sign him. Rumors are flying that the Mets are willing to part with Jose Reyes or David Wright in order to get Santana. That’s a good place to start.

The Red Sox, Yankees, and Dodgers also have loads of talent and they want Santana -- so the Twins could actually get fair value for him.

It’s a make or break month for the Twins and I can’t remember a time when the franchise had this many questions to answer.

So far…I don’t like what I am seeing.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Peterson's injury is career ending. For Brad Childress.

Adrian Peterson is going to be fine. He has a sprained knee and could come back at some point this season. He shouldn't come back this year, but he could. Just rest the knee and come back 100% next year as there is nothing to play for anymore.

The Peterson injury is devastating to Brad Childress and he now has very little chance at coming back to coach this team next year. Peterson was his only hope for winning another 2-3 games this season. Without him, the Purple might not win again this year. See you later Chilly.

Let’s have a fantasy team meeting.

That guy you see above is The Dicker. He is the owner of the fantasy football team “Richard’s Rampage” and well…over the last few weeks I have run his team into the ground.

The Dicker asked me for some friendly advice a few weeks ago and after a quick discussion on why I knew more about football than he did, he agreed to let me play coach/GM to his owner and take his team to a hallowed MMF Football Championship.

When he hired me as coach/GM, the Rampage was 3-1 and things were looking great. Five weeks later the team is on the verge of going 4-6 and grasping for anybody and everybody on the waiver wire in hopes of turning it around.

I am a great fantasy mind. I’ve won my share of Super Bowls as owner/coach/GM of the “Cover Two Dats” and of course won back-to-back-to-back fantasy baseball championships from 2004-2006. I know what I am doing in the fantasy world.

I called a team meeting today to find out just where Richard’s Rampage went wrong and to hopefully find a way to right the ship before it’s too late.

Here’s what transpired.

ME: I know it’s not typical for a fantasy team to meet like this, but we have to figure out why we suck. We can’t score consistently and our bench is weak.

LARRY FITZGERALD: Maybe the idiot owner shouldn’t have taken Vince Young in the first round?

VINCE YOUNG: Hey, at least I won a national title in college – you played at Pitt.

JEFF GARCIA: Maybe you should have waited to trade for me until after my bye week?

ME: I had no choice but to dump Rudi Johnson when I did. Plus, you’ve seen our quarterbacks! How do you expect us to compete with Daunte and Vince behind center!? We needed you! The owner gave me all of this chicken shit and expects me to make chicken salad. We started Damon Huard this week for Christ’s sake.

RYAN LONGWELL: What happened to Daunte anyway?

ME: We cut him so we could pick up Huard. Plus, he might not take another regular season snap in the NFL ever again, he was dead weight.

LENDALE WHITE: Is that a fat joke? I thought this meeting was going to be catered?

LIONS DEFENSE: Not to point fingers or anything, but the Lions Defense has scored more points than anybody else on this roster. Your defense should never be your highest scorer on the team.

GREG JENNINGS: If we played the Vikings every week I would guarantee you that I would have a higher point total.

DERRICK MASON: Can somebody please pay attention to me? I play for the Ravens and I sit on the bench for this brutal fantasy football team. I couldn’t be more tired of losing at this point.

KENTON KEITH: Hey, I am just happy to be on somebody’s roster.


LAMONT JORDAN: I miss Daunte – any chance we will pick him up again?

VISHANTE SHIANCOE: I had as many touchdown passes as he did yesterday.

WILLIE PARKER: You can’t catch or block - how did you find a starting job with the Vikings or with Richard’s Rampage?

PLAXICO BURRESS: Give Shiancoe a break – his quarterbacks can’t throw the ball downfield more than 20 yards and Brad Childress wouldn’t throw over the middle to a tight end if his life depended on it.

BEN WATSON: On the bright side, I should be back to full strength next week.

ME: Oh goodie.

JEFF GARCIA: So, what’s the plan anyway – how do we start winning again?

LENDALE WHITE: Any more pizza left?

ME: Everybody is done with their bye weeks now, so here’s the starting lineup. It’s in stone and it won’t be changed unless one of you brittle boned bastards gets hurt again. Kenton Keith – if you find a way to take out Joseph Addai, the number 2 running back spot is yours. Plax – if you are healthy you start. No more of this hobbling around on one leg. Jennings is too good to sit.

Here we go:

QB: Jeff Garcia
RB: Willie Parker
RB: LenDale White
WR: Larry Fitzgerald
WR: Plaxico Burress/Greg Jennings
TE: Ben Watson
K: Ryan Longwell
Defense: Lions
Utility/OT: Plaxico Burress/Greg Jennings

We are giving this thing one more week and if it doesn’t work out, we start planning for next year.

If that strategy can work for the Vikings, why can’t it work for the Rampage?

Stay tuned.

Hoping for the best, but waiting for the worst.

Like it wasn’t bad enough to get blown out 34-0 at Lambert Field, now the entire season hinges on the results of an MRI exam.

Okay, so the season is already over, but the MRI on Adrian Peterson this morning is very important to this team. He is the only offensive “skill” player the Vikings have and if he is hurt, the team might not score again this season.

The only person benefiting from Peterson’s injury will be Coach Chill. All of the attention should be focused on him and his lack of coaching ability, but if Peterson is hurt badly enough, all of the talk will focus on the knee and not on the coach.

The Vikings didn’t show up yesterday. Sure, they don’t have much talent on offense, but we shouldn’t be pining for Brad Johnson’s return. The teams quarterback and wide receiver positions are in shambles and the only way to make it better is to blow the whole thing up and start over.

Let’s just hope Adrian Peterson is healthy enough at the start of next year to play a big role because we will need him.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Detmer gets cut. Vikings make the Williamson thing right.

The Koy Detmer era didn't even last five days and the Vikings decided to give Troy Williamson his pay check after all. We won't miss Detmer a bit and now hopefully all of the national media attention can go away from the team as it relates to Williamson not getting paid.

The media ripped the Vikings all week long for not paying Troy Williamson because he missed last week's game due to family issues. We sided with Williamson, he should have been allowed to be away from the team. His Grandma died and his brother is in a coma. Those seem like pretty good reasons to be away from work.

Meanwhile Detmer is leaving before he had a chance to meet everyone on the team. His departure means Kelly Holcomb Tarvaris Jackson will be healthy enough to (shudder) Brooks Bollinger.

It's Packer Week. Let's hope Adrian Peterson packs his running shoes.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Vikings sign Koy Detmer. Yes, seriously.

Eagles west continues to thrive. The Vikings signed former Philadelphia QB Koy Detmer today to serve as the back-up to Tarvaris Jackson, Kelly Holcomb, and Brooks Bollinger. At the rate these Vikings quarterbacks keep going down, Detmer could see some playing time on Sunday at Green Bay.

Monday, November 5, 2007

If Peterson can learn to pick up the blitz, he might be okay.

During the first few games of the season, Brad Childress was afraid to use Adrian Peterson on third down, because Peterson has a hard time "picking up blitz packages and stunts."

I guess a 30 carry, 296 yard day might make Childress change his mind for good. Peterson will without question be the NFL Rookie of the Year and he could challenge Tom Brady and/or Randy Moss for the MVP -- if the Vikings win the rest of their games and Peterson keeps doing what he is doing.
And, that was the great part about the win yesterday -- not only did Peterson look amazing, but the entire team played well. Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman said the Vikings "just wanted the game more than we did. They dove for every inch, fought for everything. They blocked a second or two longer. When you're that physical, good things happen."

He was talking about the Vikings! Nobody talks about the Vikings like that. Maybe this game was a turning point? I have no idea about this team anymore. They lose to the Eagles at home and look terrible doing it and then destroy the Chargers one week later.
Just crazy.

As long as the Vikings don't trade Peterson to New England and as long as he doesn't get injured, the next few Vikings seasons are going to be pretty fun.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Time to strap on the blaze orange.

Cold Omaha is taking a break for a few days in order to spend some time in the great outdoors. See you back here on Monday to talk about another Vikings loss and perhaps some positive thoughts about Tubby Smith and the Gopher hoops team.

For those who do want some good news about the Vikings: The Bill Parcells coaching the Vikings rumors haven't started yet -- but they will. And, it might be more than rumors. The Tuna could be wearing a skin-tight purple slicker or wind breaker come this time next year. We shall see.